The Garden Travels Next Door

September 14, 2007

The Friendly Neighbors have a large, impressive garden (much grander than ours). They also have a greenhouse. Mrs. Friendly Neighbor said to my wife, “Come over to our house. Some of the tomatoes in our greenhouse are ripe. We are getting more than we need; I will give you some.”

In the course of the conversation, my wife mentioned that we have plenty of zucchini.

“That’s funny,” said Mrs. FN. “I don’t know what it is, but the zucchini in our garden is failing to thrive. Isn’t that odd? It’s hardly producing any zucchini at all.”

The Friendly Neighbors do many favors for us. They frequently provide little gifts for us of food and flowers from their garden. They loan us tools. They help us with tasks such as building the garden gate that we are too dumb to do ourselves. The balance of trade in kindness and generosity is very unequal. On the infrequent occasions when we can provide a favor or a gift of benefit to them, we are eager to do so.

“I will bring some zucchini to you,” said my wife eagerly. “We have plenty.”


A zucchini plant failing to thrive, failing to produce many fruit. How odd.

Of course, their garden is not that far from us, even with our large homestead lots. Maybe about half a mile as the crows fly. (We have lots of crows; we often hear them crowing dismally in the trees.) Not very far for a zucchini to radiate its influence to another zucchini….You are getting very droopy…you are failing to thrive…you don’t feel like producing fruit any more…your leaves are wilting…wilting…w i l t i n g.

[Next: The Men in Black Fail to Do their Job]


4 Responses to “The Garden Travels Next Door”

  1. renaissanceguy Says:

    I wish you’d quit talking about that zucchini. It makes me salivate every time. Talk about lima beans. I detest them.

  2. modestypress Says:

    Lima beans are kind of funny. When my daughter was little she hated two foods: beets and lima beans. Then she decided she liked lima beans, though she detests beets to this day.

    Many years ago, when I taught in ghetto schools, I was reading a “Black Muslim” newspaper which tended to rant. The issue I was reading contained a (fairly loony) article claiming that lima beans were very harmful to one’s health and represented a plot by “whitey” to poison black people.

  3. renaissanceguy Says:

    My mom never served them, thankfully. But Campbell’s always put them in their vegetable soup. My bowl always had two or three of the insidious and hideous things at the bottom when I was done.

    A few times I was forced to eat them. Somehow I survived.

  4. modestypress Says:

    My wife’s mother felt her daughter should eat some liver once in a while because it was good for her. My wife would sit with a bite of liver in her mouth through an entire dinner rather than swallow it. Sometimes she could sneak it to her dog without her mother seeing her.

    When our daughter was very little, my wife once gave her a spoonful of Gerber’s baby food because she felt she shouldn’t let her prejudices stop her Random Daughter from trying it.

    My daughter, less than one years old, got a look of intense horror on her face and spit the baby food liver half way across the room.

    “That’s my girl!” my wife exclaimed proudly. She hugged her infant daughter, apologized to her profusely, and gave her a “Craggie” (what my daughter called cookies when as she was learning to talk) as a reward.

    As she was growing up, we always made her take “one taste” of a food she didn’t like (not including liver) to check out if her tastes had changed, but no more. She eventually grew to like lima beans, but hates beets to this day. (My wife loves beets.)

    I ate liver as a child, not with relish, but without distress. My wife loves cheese. I don’t hate it, but it is my least favorite food.

    My granddaughter has a very complicated relationship with food. We are all waiting to see how this plays out.

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